Renter, landlord spar over bedbug extermination in St. Louis County

Renter, landlord spar over bedbug extermination in St. Louis County

Renter, landlord spar over bedbug extermination in St. Louis County

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by KMOV.com staff

KMOV.com

Posted on November 28, 2012 at 5:40 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 28 at 5:44 PM

AFFTON, Mo (KMOV.com) -- Bedbug problems have skyrocketed across the country over the last few years but a new problem may have worked itself out in the courts.

If you’re renting and have bedbugs who pays to exterminate them? 

Patricia Minor has rented an apartment in Affton for several years. Recently she found she had bedbugs.

She believes the landlord should pay to get rid of them, and the landlord doesn’t agree.

“The problem is we got bedbugs,” Miner said. “I don’t know how far they are, I don’t know where they’re at, I don’t know if I brought them, but I got them.”

Miner says she’s pulled the mattresses out of the bedroom, and she and her granddaughter sleep on the couch and chairs in the living room.

“I want to get rid of them. I can’t keep sleeping on those chairs and my granddaughter sleeping on [the couch],” she said. “We take turns. It’s hard on her and it’s really hard on me.”   

However it’s a significant challenge to figure out who legally should pay to get rid of them.

News 4 called the Attorney General’s office, Beyond Housing, and Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, and all say there’s no clear-cut answer.

Exterminators use intense heat to kill the bedbugs, but it’s expensive and can cost up to $1,500 dollars to treat a home.

Linda Brendel and her husband have owned the apartment building for 14 years.

They say they keep it clean, spray the outside for bugs, and have never dealt with a bedbug situation. They also sent tenants a letter a couple years ago saying tenants are responsible for pests in their apartments.

“I didn’t bring bedbugs in,” Brendel said. “It was something the tenant did or someone that lives there brought ‘em in.”

We found reports from across the country that show this is a growing problem; tenants and landlords fighting over who should pay.

The Brendels say that at noon Thursday an inspector will come in to check all ten apartments they own. Their attitude is, if Miner has the only apartment with bedbugs, she should pay.

 

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